Adam Smith vs Karl Marx: Difference and Comparison

We study many economists, and among all past economists, Karl Marx and Adam Smith are the most influential and prominent economists. Their theoretical contributions are well-known in their history.

They both wrote about many things. Here we study all relevant information about two legendary personalities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Adam Smith advocated for free-market capitalism, while Karl Marx criticized capitalism and proposed socialism and communism.
  2. Smith’s “invisible hand” theory argued that self-interest benefits society, while Marx believed that class struggle drives social progress.
  3. Marx’s ideas formed the basis of Marxist political and economic theories, while Smith laid the groundwork for classical economics.

Adam Smith vs Karl Marx 

Adam Smith believed that the state should have a limited role in the economy and that the free market would regulate itself without state intervention. Karl Marx believed that the state should play an active role in the economy and that the government should control the means of production.

Adam Smith vs Karl Marx
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“Adam Smith is famous for many things which he wrote. The most well-known book by Adam Smith,, whose name was celebrated worldwide, is”The Wealth of Nations” This book is considered an important contribution to the economy. “Adam Smith is famous for many things which he wrote. The most well-known book by Adam Smith,, whose name was celebrated worldwide, is “The Wealth of Nations” This book is considered an essential contribution to the economy.

“He also advocates a”Free market economy”. Karl Marx saw the conditions and situation of that time and created his ideas and rules. “He also advocates a “Free market economy”. Karl Marx saw the conditions and situation of that time and created his ideas and rules.

He saw exploitation as individuals not receiving benefits. Marx is particular about his belief that capitalism leads to greed and inequality.

The finest paradigm for political and economic ownership was communism.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdam SmithKarl Marx 
DefinitionAdam Smith wanted an Economy without government regulation.The supporting theory of adam smith was Laissez-Faire, “The wealth of Nations”.
Life JourneyAdam Smith lived from 1723 to 1790.Karl Marx lived from 1818 to 1883
Supporting TheoryKarl Marx had Public privilege.“The supporting theory of adam smith was Laissez-Faire “The Wealth of Nations”.”The supporting theory of adam smith was Laissez-Faire, “The wealth of Nations”.
“The supporting theory of Karl Marx was Socialism’s “Communist Manifesto”.”The supporting theory of Karl Marx was Socialism’s “Communist Manifesto”.Adam Smith was the Philosopher of a free-market economy.Karl Marx was the Philosopher of Command Economy.
OwnershipAdam Smith had Private ownership.Karl Marx had Public ownership.

Who was Adam Smith?

“Adam Smith is a famous theorist in the world. He is known as the” Father of Capitalism” and” Father of Economy”. “Adam Smith is a famous theorist in the world. He is known as the “Father of Capitalism” and “Father of Economy”.

He was born in the year 1723 on 16 June (undocumented).in Scotland. He was a well-known philosopher, pioneer, and Scottish economist of political economy.

“An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” and” The Theory of Moral Sentiments” are his great writings. Later,” Wealth of Nation” was regarded as the first modern economics text. “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” are his great writings. Later, “Wealth of Nation” was regarded as the first modern economics text.

He introduced the principle of absolute benefit in that work. Classical Economics, Free Market, Economic Liberalism, Division of Labor, Absolute Advantage, and The Invisible Hand are some of Adam Smith’s most famous theories.

Adam Smith studies social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and Oxford College. He was an outspoken opponent of mercantilism and a proponent of laissez-faire economic principles.

He also proposed the idea of the invisible hand,, which means the free market’s tendency. He gave the concept of GDP(gross domestic product).

His views on labour jobs are that jobs tend to pay higher wages to attract labour. The two main ideas of Smith, “The Invisible Hand” and “Division of Labour” also run today’s economic theories. 

adam smith

Who was Karl Marx?

Karl Marx was a well-known writer of economic welfare and German philosophy. Karl Heinrich Marx was his full name.

He was a socialist revolutionary, an economist, a critic of political economy, a well-known historian, a political theorist, a sociologist, and a known journalist. He was born in Germany on May 5, 1818.

At the universities of Berlin and Bonn, he studied law and philosophy. Many foundations of the period, as well as the twentieth century, were influenced by his work.

“Perhaps there are a number of issues that a fresh generation does not examine. He wrote””The Communist Manifesto,” which is considered the most renowned booklet in economic history.  “Perhaps there are several issues that a new generation does not examine. He wrote “The Communist Manifesto,” considered the most renowned booklet in economic history. 

“He also wrote the first, second, and third volumes of the renowned book””Das Kapital.” He was well-known for these two well-known works. “He also wrote the first, second, and third volumes of the famous book “Das Kapital.” He was well-known for these two famous works.

Marx’s writings and others constitute the basis of Marxism, a school of thinking and philosophy. He was the eldest surviving kid out of a family of nine children.

His father was also a well-known lawyer, and his father made history by producing several famous books that influenced Karl Marx.

Reading Adam Smith and David Ricardo’s books also inspired him. However, he pioneered his field of economics.

karl

Main Differences Between Adam Smith and Karl Marx

  1. Adam Smith was an economist from Scotland, and was born in 1723 whereas Karl Marx was an economist born in Germany in 1818.
  2. Smith was considered the father of current economics whereas Karl Marx was the father of Communism.
  3. According to Smith, workers are constantly looking for the greatest job and salaries. In contrast, Marx claims that a labour wage war could easily break down our society which could lead to the economy’s demise.
  4. Smith believed in the freedom of everyone by using any capitalistic approach whereas Karl believed in individual freedom.
  5. Smith has a Western mindset in his thought whereas Marx believed that socialism have the power to replace capitalism.
Difference Between Adam Smith and Karl
References
  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315700229/big-three-economics-adam-smith-karl-marx-john-maynard-keynes-mark-skousen
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Q8syEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR10&dq=Difference+Between+Adam+Smith+And+Karl+Marx+(With+Table)&ots=hFsOeQF11r&sig=dd0dt7CTWKiaaMU0Q2gsT_OJP14

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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